‘Caesar’ Must Bow to ‘Kung Fu Panda 3,’ King of the Box Office


A scene from “Kung Fu Panda 3,” which features the voices of Jack Black and Bryan Cranston among others.

Dreamworks Animation/DreamWorks Animation, via Associated Press

The star-packed “Hail, Caesar!” had little to exclaim about in its North American debut, giving its directors, Joel and Ethan Coen, the worst wide-opening result of their long career and receiving a C-minus grade in CinemaScore exit polls from those who did buy tickets. Meanwhile, the Nicholas Sparks movie gleam is officially gone: Given “The Choice,” the 11th adaptation of one of his books, audiences stayed home.

Kung Fu Panda 3” (20th Century Fox) was the No. 1 movie at the weekend box office, taking in about $21 million, for a two-week domestic total of $69.1 million, according to comScore, which compiles ticketing data. To compare, the film, made by DreamWorks Animation, has now taken in more than $100 million in China.

“Hail, Caesar!” (Universal Pictures) was second, collecting about $11.4 million. The film, starring the likes of George Clooney, James Brolin and Channing Tatum, cost about $22 million to make, after accounting for rebates and tax incentives.

The Revenant” (Fox) chugged away in third place, taking in about $7.1 million, for an eight-week total of about $149.7 million. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (Disney) was close behind, selling an estimated $6.9 million in tickets, for a nine-week domestic total of about $906 million; “The Force Awakens” crossed the $2 billion mark worldwide over the weekend, according to Disney.

“The Choice” (Lionsgate) was fifth. It collected about $6.1 million, the worst opening result — by far — for an adaptation of a book by Mr. Sparks. (The previous low mark was “The Best of Me,” which arrived to $10 million in ticket sales in 2014.) “The Choice” was independently financed; Lionsgate bought domestic distribution rights for $10 million.

Also of note: After bouncing between directors, stars and studios, “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” financed by Cross Creek Pictures for $28 million and distributed by Sony, became the latest genre mash-up to flop, taking in $5.2 million.

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